Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (2024)

Crockpot Beef Stew is a meal-in-one packed with tender meat and veggies swimming in the most amazingly flavorful gravy broth!

Crockpot Beef Stew is easy, hearty, comforting and SO good youwon’t be able to stop at just one bowl! You will be amazed at the luxurious thick gravy broth (no watery broth here!) and the buttery tender beef. This Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect make-ahead dinner, reheats beautifully and you can doublethe recipe for a crowd. I’ve included tips and tricks, how to make ahead, how to freeze and more!

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe Video

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (1)

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CrockPot Beef Stew

This Crockpot Beef Stew joins the ranks of my other favorite slow cooker beef recipes: Slow Cooker Beef Brisket, Beef Stroganoff, Beef Tips and Gravy, Italian Beef, Mississippi Pot Roast and French Dips, In each recipe, the meat emerges melt-in-your mouth tender, richly satisfying and infused with epic flavor from cooking in its spiced bath all day. It might just be the longest day of your life.

But this Crockpot Beef Stew is SO worth the wait with its juicy beef and fork-tender vegetables smothered in luscious, perfectly seasoned gravy broth. It is an old comforting classic waiting to become a new family favorite! So, prepare to fall in love with this Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe.

Why We Love this Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe!

Crockpot does the work. This Slow Cooker Beef Stew combines my favorite ways to make an EASY meal – soup and the slow cooker! The most time-consuming part of this soup is the chopping of your carrots, celery, potatoes, onions and garlic. But, it’s easy and mindless and a perfect way to put your kids to work. I loved helping my mom prep her stew – especially because I knew the deliciousness that was on the other end.

Thick gravy broth.The silkiness and flavor of the Beef Gravy Broth is what makes this Crockpot Beef Stew the “Best” in my opinion. Not only is it lusciously thick, but the combination of crushed tomatoes, beef consommé,beef broth,soy sauce, Dijon mustard and the bevy of hand-picked spices: paprika, oregano, thyme and cumin, infuse the beef and vegetables with flavor as they simmer all day, filling your home with the savory aroma of anticipation.

Crowd pleaser. There simply isn’t anything more comforting than a big bowl of hearty beef stew drowning in luscious beef and tomato-infused sauce. It’s like a warm blanket that warms you from the inside out with every heaping slurpful. Even your pickiest eater will be clamoring for more beef stew!

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (2)

Meal-in-one. This Crockpot Beef Stew is loaded with beef and veggies so it’s a meal-in-one all made in your crockpot! You can skip the sides all together because it is stand-alone worthy or serve it with no-fuss sides like a simple green salad and bread.

Makes a large quantity.This easy Crockpot Beef Stew makes a hearty crockpot full so its perfect for large crowds, dinner parties or company.

Less Expensive. a crockpot full of beef stew feeds the whole family with some tantalizing leftovers to spare at the fraction of the price of dining out.

Make Ahead. Crockpot Beef Stew can be started in the morning and then welcome your bellies at night OR it can be made days in advance and reheated because it tastes even better the next day!

Freezer friendly. You can freeze Slow Cooker Beef Stew and pull it out for busy nights ahead!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients

What Cut is Stew Beef?

Boneless chuck is the best cut of beef for Crockpot Beef Stew. It boasts a succulent, beefy flavor and melt-in-your mouth texture due to its rich marbling. It is guaranteed to become fall apart tender when cooked long enough.

You can purchase a single piece from your butcher (I like Costco) and chop it yourself. This ensures every bite is the same cut of beef (imagine that!) and is (roughly) the same size so they cook evenly.

Can I use Stew Meat?

While you might assume “stew meat” is the best cut for Crockpot Beef Stew – its NOT! Stew meat is a hodgepodge of different cuts of meat all packed together. This creates a problem because not all cuts of meat cook the same due to their meat to fat ratio so you are left with tender bites, tough bites and rubbery bites – all in the same stew!

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (3)

What’s the Best Potato for Slow Cooker Beef Stew?

Not all potatoes are created equal. For soups and stews that cook for a long time, you need low starch waxy potatoes such as red potatoes, Yukon, new potatoes or fingerling potatoes. Waxy potatoes do not absorb moisture while they cook so they retain their shape despite extended high heat.

Starchy potatoes, such as russet potatoes, should be avoided because they develop a mealy texture and are likely to fall apart.

What Spices do you put in Beef Stew?

  • Salt pepper: Slow Cooker Beef Stew needs to be well seasoned because vegetables by themselves are very bland. Salt and pepper awaken the flavors. If you feel like the stew is missing something at the end of cooking, it is probably salt or pepper and can easily be remedied with a few shakes.
  • Herbs: we add just ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, and dried thyme to enhance the earthy, savory flavor.
  • Aromatics:onions and garlic are flavor powerhouses and absolutely essential.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce is my secret weapon, I even add it to my marinara sauce! When its used in correct proportions it adds a savory, salty depth that enhances the other flavors but doesn’t taste like “soy sauce.”
  • Dijon mustard: adds a slight tanginess to awaken the earthy flavors.
  • Beef bouillon: adds a salty beefy flavor. 2 teaspoons is two cubes beef bouillon. You may also use better than bouillon.

How to Make Beef Stew in a Crock Pot

Step 1: Sear Beef: First, season your meat with salt and pepper while it is still on the cutting board. There is no need to coat your beef in flour. Heat oil over high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Using tongs, sear meat on all sides until browned. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a nonstick pan, it will just take a little longer go brown.

Step 2: Vegetables: Add the beef to the slow cooker along with chopped potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf.

Step 3: Gravy: Whisk together flour, crushed tomatoes, beef consommé beef broth, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, beef bouillon and seasonings in the same pot you cooked your beef in so it soaks up all the flavor. The flour will be lumpy at first but will dissolve as you cook and continue to whisk. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened to the consistency of gravy. Add it to slow and give everything a big stir

Preparing gravy this way results in the most amazing gravy broth. I call it gravy broth because it is not watery like beef broth but rather the perfect silky consistency of a medium-thick gravy (read more on thick broth below).

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (4)

How Long to Cook Beef Stew in Crock Pot

The exact cooking time will depend on our cut of beef, exact size of beef and your particular slow cooker.

For two pounds beef chuck roast cut into 2” chunks in a 6 quart slow cooker, expect your beef stew to cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours. You will know the beef stew is done when the vegetables and beef are very tender.

Some crockpots cook hotter and therefore faster than others, so make sure you check your beef sooner if you have not made this Crockpot Beef Stew before.

How to Thicken this Beef Stew Recipe

Unlike many Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipes that call for adding cornstarch to the broth in the crock pot the last hour or so in order to thicken (which will NOT result in a velvety thick broth but still be watery), I have found that the best method is to make your thick gravy on the stove then add it to the slow cooker.

The gravy will seem extra thick but will thin to the perfect gravy broth-like consistency as the vegetables simmer and release their juices. Also, by making gravy first with flour, you can skip the step of dusting your beef with flour, which can result in burnt beef pieces and an undesirable texture/consistency.

If by the end of cooking, you still want to thicken your Slow Cooker Beef Stew even more, then you can use any of these following methods:

  • Cornstarch: Remove some broth from the stew and whisk in 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with a fork until smooth then whisk it back into the beef stew. Turn slow cooker to high until thickened, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Flour and butter: Mix equal parts flour and softened butter together with a fork so it becomes a thick paste and almost forms a ball. You will want 2-4 tablespoons each, depending on how thick you want the beef stew. Add it to the stew, stir, and cook on high until thickened, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Puree soup: Remove 1-2 cups of the stew and puree it in your blender or food processor. It will add body to the soup while preserving the flavor.
  • Mash potatoes: Remove some of the potatoes, mash them and return them to the soup. Mashed potatoes are a natural thickener. Alternatively, you can microwave a few potatoes separately, mash them and add them to the soup if you don’t want to use any from the stew.

Make Ahead Beef Stew Recipe (Crock Pot)

  • Veggies: you can pre-cut all your veggies the night before you plan on cooking your Slow Cooker Beef Stew and place them in an airtight container.
  • Potatoes: Once you cut the potatoes, starch is released which will cause them to brown, so make sure you submerge them in water to prevent this discoloration. Simply place the potatoes in a bowl or airtight container, cover with water then cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Beef: you can chop your beef into 2-3” pieces the night before. You can even sear the beef the night before. Make sure your beef cools to room temperature before sealing in an airtight container or zip bag and placing in the refrigerator.
  • Gravy: You can whisk all of the gravy ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
  • Everything: You can completely assemble the Crockpot Beef Stew IN the crockpot and refrigerate the ceramic insert. This makes for a hassle free, no fuss morning! Just be aware you may need to add additional cooking time and a little extra broth at the end of cooking.

How to Make Stew Meat Tender

In order for Crockpot Beef Stew to be a success, the beef MUST be tender. This requires the right cut of beef, searing the beef and cooking the beef long enough.

  1. Cut of beef: As previously discussed, boneless chuck roast will deliver fall apart tender results due to its rich marbling. If you choose another cut of beef, be aware it might not deliver as spectacularly tender results.
  2. Sear beef: Searing seals in the juices so the beef doesn’t dry out when cooked for an extended period of time. The caramelized crust achieved by the Maillard reaction also delivers a rich, depth of flavor that can’t be achieved any other way. I brown my beef in my cast iron skillet in order to achieve a deeply golden crust. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, then any heavy bottom pan will do, it will just take a little longer. Take care to work in batches and not to overcrowd your pan or else the beef will steam and not sear.
  3. Cook until tender. I learned this trick from my Mom’s Crazy Tender Pot Roast. If your beef isn’t crazy tender, then cook on! It just means the proteins needs more time to break down and tenderize. Even 30 more minutes in the crockpot can make the world of difference between an “okay” beef and melt-in-your-mouthbeef.
Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (6)

Crock Pot Beef Stew Storage

Once your Crockpot Beef Stew has cooled to room temperature, you can remove the pot from the slow cooker and put the whole insert (lid on) in the refrigerator. You can also transfer your stew to an airtight container. Plan on consuming within 3-4 days.

How do I reheat beef stew?

  • Crockpot: To reheat your Slow Cooker Beef Stew from the refrigerator, place your ceramic crockpot insert back into your crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
  • Stove: Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the beef is heated through to 165 degrees F. This may take 20-30 minutes, so plan accordingly.
  • Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can use the microwave. Transfer stew to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.

Can You Freeze Beef Stew?

I would not advocate freezing your cooked Slow Cooker Beef Stew because potatoes do not freeze-and-reheat well. They turn into a bizarre, mushy texture. If you still want to freeze your Crockpot Beef Stew, I suggest removing the potatoes.

To freeze Beef Stew:

  1. Cool:Allow Crockpot Beef Stew to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
  2. Package: Transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag. You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual stew portions. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
  3. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.

What to Serve with this Beef Stew Recipe

Since you’ve already have meat and vegetables in your Crockpot Beef Stew, side dishes can be minimal. My Moist Sweet Cornbread would be a delicious addition or softy and fluffy Dinner Rolls or Parmesan Breadsticks would also be great to sop up your stew with! If you’re looking for some greens, I HIGHLY suggest my wedge salad and for fruit, either my Perfect Fruit Salad or Winter Fruit Salad.

Beef Stew Recipe Crock Pot FAQs

Do you have to cook the meat before you put it in the slow cooker?

You do not have to cook meat before you put it in the slow cooker but I HIGHLY recommend it. If you don’t sear your meat beforehand, you will miss out on the complex caramelized flavor that comes from the deeply golden crust. You can’t fake this rich flavor any other way. A beef stew without seared meat can hardly be called stew in my opinion.

Looking For more Crock Pot Soup Recipes?

  • Crock Pot Creamy White Chicken Chili
  • Slow Cooker Potato Soup
  • BBQ Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker or Stove Top)
  • Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken Chowder
  • Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice Soup
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
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Beef Stew Recipe (Crock Pot)

Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a meal-in-one packed with tender meat and veggies swimming in the most amazingly flavorful gravy broth! It’s easy, hearty, comforting and SO good youwon’t be able to stop at just one bowl!

Servings: 6 -8 servings

Total Time: 6 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

Cook Time: 6 hours hrs

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Ingredients

Beef Stew

  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4-5 medium red potatoes, chopped (about 1 pound)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced thick (1/4”-1/2”)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf

Beef Gravy Broth

Instructions

  • Chop meat into bite size pieces. While meat is still on the cutting board, toss it with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add half of the beef to the very hot skillet and let cook undisturbed for approximately 2 minutes, or until nicely seared on one side, then continue to cook while stirring until beef is browned all over but not cooked through. Remove beef to 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef.

  • Add all of the vegetables and garlic to the slow cooker and toss with the beef.

  • Add all the the Beef Gravy Broth ingredients to the now empty skillet (wipe out excess grease but leave brown bits). The flour will be lumpy at first but will dissolve as you cook and continue to whisk. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened to the consistency of gravy. Add to slow cooker and toss to combine. Add bay leaf. The Gravy will be very thick but will thin to the perfect consistency as moisture is released from the vegetables as they cook.

  • Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours or until vegetables and beef are very tender. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!

**May substitute low sodium beef broth if you are unable to find beefconsommé.

PREPARE AHEAD

  • Veggies: you can pre-cut all your veggies the night before you plan on cooking your Slow Cooker Beef Stew and place them in an airtight container.
  • Potatoes: Once you cut the potatoes, starch is released which will cause them to brown, so make sure you submerge them in water to prevent this discoloration. Simply place the potatoes in a bowl or airtight container, cover with water then cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Beef: you can chop your beef into 2-3” pieces the night before. You can even sear the beef the night before. Make sure your beef cools to room temperature before sealing in an airtight container or zip bag and placing in the refrigerator.
  • Gravy: You can whisk all of the gravy ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
  • Everything: You can completely assemble the Crockpot Beef Stew IN the crockpot and refrigerate the ceramic insert. This makes for a hassle free, no fuss morning! Just be aware you may need to add additional cooking time and a little extra broth at the end of cooking.

HOW TO FREEZE BEEF STEW

I don’t suggest freezing Slow Cooker Beef Stew with potatoes because potatoes turn into a bizarre, mushy texture. You can risk it if you’re not as picky about texture or remove the potatoes before freezing. To freeze:

  1. Cool:Allow Crockpot Beef Stew to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
  2. Package: Transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag. You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual stew portions. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
  3. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.

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Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is the basic stew formula? ›

The Ideal Stew Ratio: Two Parts Meat, One Part Vegetable

Most meat-based stews call for tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, while vegetarian recipes include the same onions, carrots, and celery typical of a beef stew. Two parts meat to one part vegetables is the perfect ratio for a meaty stew.

Can you cook beef stew too long in slow cooker? ›

If you have a model that runs “hot", 15 hours may be too much and will result in an overcooked taste. If this is new model to you, try it out on other dishes to get a feel for it. If you are using a lean cut of meat, long cooking time is not the way to go. The meat will get tougher the longer it cooks.

Does beef stew get more tender the longer it cooks? ›

Chuck meat is your best bet for beef stew, but it's also a pretty tough cut so it needs time to break down and become tender. Rush the cooking process and the beef will be tough and chewy. Follow this tip: For really tender meat, cook the stew low and slow, for approximately two hours.

How to make the perfect beef stew and the common mistakes to avoid? ›

The Five Most Common Beef Stew Mistakes
  1. Choosing a meat that's too lean. Stew is not meant for all cuts of meat. ...
  2. Putting too much flour on the stew meat before sautéeing them. ...
  3. Not using wine. ...
  4. Putting the meat and vegetables together in one pan. ...
  5. Not cooking it enough.
Jun 28, 2020

What gives beef stew the best flavor? ›

Add spices such as turmeric, coriander and cumin at the early stage of cooking, when you are frying onions and garlic, to enhance the taste of the beef stew. Fresh herbs like coriander and bay leaves also contribute a distinct flavour without making the dish too spicy for the younger members of the family.

What order do you add ingredients to a stew? ›

So far I know how to make a basic meat and vegetable soup/stew:
  1. Stew some kind of meat.
  2. Chop some veggies, saute some of them in a pan with oil or butter.
  3. Add the bouillon from the 1st step and some other veggies. Add the meat from the 1st step too.
  4. Add some spices and cook for 1-2 hours.
Oct 25, 2014

Why is my beef still tough after 8 hours in the slow cooker? ›

The meat was overcooked: Slow cookers are known for their ability to tenderize meat, but if the meat is cooked for too long, it can become overcooked and tough. It's important to follow the recommended cooking time for your recipe to ensure that the meat is cooked to the correct doneness.

Is it better to cook stew on low or high in slow cooker? ›

While many slow cooker recipes can be made on high for 3-4 hours, I highly recommend cooking this beef stew on low for the full 7-8 hours. This will ensure that the beef gets nice and tender. Thicken your stew properly.

Do you put tomato paste in stew? ›

Stew is basically meat braised in liquid, along with other ingredients—typically potatoes, carrots, onions, and possibly some sort of tomato. The tomato can be tomato paste, diced tomatoes, or even whole canned tomatoes that you break up with a spoon while it cooks. But no one said that the main liquid should be water.

What is the secret to tender beef stew? ›

The secret to tender beef stew is to keep the pot at a gentle simmer the entire time so the connective tissues in the beef have a chance to break down and soften.

Why add vinegar to beef stew? ›

The addition of the vinegar adds subtle acidity that balances well with the soy sauce and the honey giving this otherwise super hearty beef stew a nice lightness to it.

What is the best tenderizer for stew meat? ›

The choice becomes easier when you realize that simple baking soda can be an ideal meat tenderizer that helps to bring out all the aromas and flavors in every sizzling beef stew or charburger.

Why put tomato paste in beef stew? ›

I contacted Laurence to get the lowdown on why she adds tomato paste to her beef stew. "I include tomato paste in many braised recipes because it adds a depth of flavor without increasing the liquid quantity in the dish," Laurence explains.

When should I add vegetables to beef stew? ›

Add vegetables: After 1 hour 30 minutes, carefully remove pot from oven and use oven mitt to remove lid. Add vegetables and stir gently to combine. Carefully replace lid on pot and return stew to oven to cook for an additional hour.

When should celery be added to stew? ›

Once the meat is tender - but not falling apart, add the potatoes, celery, carrots and butternut squash. Pour over another 2 cups of beef broth and enough water to cover the vegetables. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes - until the vegetables are tender.

What is the traditional stew made of? ›

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef, pork, venison, rabbit, lamb, poultry, sausages, and seafood.

What is the rule for stewing? ›

Use Low Heat

Low heat is suggested for all stews, never a hard boil. Placing a lid, slightly ajar on the pot traps the escaping steam and allows it to condense and fall back onto the stew. You can also cook stews in a 350°F oven or on low in a slow cooker.

What is the formula for soup? ›

The formula: broth (chicken, beef, veg - depends on your protein) + salsa (jar, can, fresh) + protein (chicken, steak, meatballs, beans) + rice (cooked or raw) + other veg + seasoning + garnish. It's great because you pretty much always have some version of these things in your fridge, pantry or freezer.

What are the ingredients in stew in Minecraft? ›

To make suspicious stew, place 1 red mushroom, 1 brown mushroom, 1 bowl, and 1 flower in the 3x3 crafting grid. In this example, we will use a dandelion as the flower. In the second row, there should be 1 bowl in the middle box.

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